Credit New vision
A murder suspect on remand has escaped from Katojo government prison in Fort Portal, Kabarole district.
Frank Baine, the Uganda Prison Service Spokesperson revealed that Amos Mugume, the escapee took advantage of the heavy downpour to escape.
“He escaped from our COVID-19 isolation center in Katojo Fort Portal. This was after he took advantage of the heavy downpour to break part of the prison wall at the edge of the roof,” Baine said.
According to Baine, much as there were many inmates in the isolation center, only one escaped.
Mugume had spent less than 6 months on remand according to Baine.
“Mugume had been arrested and remanded when Uganda was going through COVID-19 lockdown,” Baine said.
Festus Bandeba, the deputy Resident District Commissioner and also the chairperson of the district security committee says efforts are being made to have Mugume back to prison to answer his charges.
“He is a notorious criminal who had multiple cases to answer before courts of law. But now that he escaped, the security is trailing him and soon we shall have him back” Bandeba said.
In September this year, 214 prisoners escaped from Singila prison in Moroto after breaking into the armory. They also made off with 14 guns.
New Vision learnt that the escape, which seems to have been carefully planned, started at around 4:45 pm under the cover of rain. It was spearheaded by hardcore inmates who included dismissed army men and cattle rustlers.
Sources privy to the escape told the New Vision that at exactly 4:45 pm as other inmates relaxed in the open-air ground playing various indoor games, a number of them moved towards the armoury.
A yet to be identified inmate pounced on the armoury guard who was busy on his smartphone
The escape was caused by human error on Wednesday evening at 4:00pm, as the gatekeeper and others on duty did not assess the situation well. Of course, prisoners will always plan to escape; everywhere there is no prisoner who wants to remain in prison. However, in this case, the gatekeeper is the one who did not gauge the situation well leading to the escape,” he said.
The Prisons publicist added that most of the escapees took advantage of being former cattle rustlers to grab guns from prison warders. The escapees then cut through the prison fence with the armed group at the rear ready for any action.
By the time prison authorities made a distress call, 219 prisoners were already out of the facility and had divided themselves into three groups.
New Vision learnt that the prisoners engaged the army, killing one soldier.